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Whidbey Island residents forced to navigate slide damage for foreseeable future

Island County officials say despite the damage from a massive landslide, the county doesn't qualify for state or federal aid so a new road can't be build any time soon. (AP image)

A temporary road will have to do for a year or more after last month's massive landslide on Whidbey Island.

Seventeen homes near the base of a bluff were cut off by the slide south of Coupeville. A dirt and gravel, one-lane road with a switchback in the middle now provides access. All utilities have been restored.

Eric Brooks, with Island County's emergency management office says the damage does not qualify for state or federal emergency funding so they'll have to budget for a new road.

The bluff appears stable, for now, but drilling for core samples to a depth of 280-feet continues to help crews learn about what's happening beneath the surface.

Five homes were yellow tagged and one red-tagged because of damage, meaning owners cannot live there. Still others might lose property value because of the slide.

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About the Author

Tim Haeck is a news reporter with KIRO Radio. While Tim is one of our go-to, no-nonsense reporters, he also has a sensationally dry sense of humor and it will surprise some to learn he is a weekend warrior.


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